ISPreview.co.uk Study - UK ISPs Must Promote Broadband Upload Speeds - ISPreview UK
How important are Internet upload speeds to your broadband ISP connection? According to our latest survey of 1,483 readers, some 41.3% of respondents considered upload performance to be an important part of their Internet use (58.5% rated it as “Not Important“), yet most of the largest national providers still choose not to promote it.

Indeed a quick check around the websites for some of the United Kingdom’s largest broadband ISPs reveals the problem. For example, until very recently BT only fully promoted upload speeds for their superfast BTInfinity (FTTC) products and not their standard copper broadband (ADSL2+) packages, but now they don’t seem to promote it at all (unless you dig deeper into their site).

Separately Virgin Media was also found to make no mention of their upload speeds unless customers dug deeper into the website and it’s a similar story for Sky Broadband, EE and TalkTalk. Consumer awareness of their own upload speed may be part of the problem, with many having no idea of what they’re supposed to be getting (see below).

Does your broadband ISP currently advertise upload speeds alongside its packages?

No – 44.1%
Unsure – 32.7%
Yes – 23.1%

Do you know the upload speed of your broadband connection?

Yes – 42.3%
Unsure – 29.7%
No – 27.9%

How important are upload speeds to how you use the Internet?

Not Important – 58.5%
Very Important – 24.4%
Average Importance – 16.9%

Admittedly the majority of tasks that consumers do online, such as loading websites, streaming videos or downloading files, primarily require a good download speed. But the modern era of social networking means that most of us are also sharing significantly more data than ever before, which requires us to push more information on to the Internet and that’s where uploads become most noticeable.

Anybody who has ever tried to upload a large batch of high quality pictures or a big holiday video on a connection that can just about muster 1Mbps of upstream speed, which incidentally is still fairly common, already knows the pain of which we speak.

Some ISPs are perhaps concerned that displaying uploads will confuse consumers or make them look less competitive because most home broadband connections are asymmetric, with uploads often being much slower than downloads. But such concerns could easily be solved by using a simple description and the current lack of information can also create its own problems.

For example, people who only see the download speed advertised might incorrectly expect the upload performance to run at the same rate. At the same time ISPs also have a general responsibility to ensure that their customers are aware of exactly what they’re buying, thus ISPs need to become more transparent and Ofcom could certainly be doing more to encourage that.

Meanwhile this month’s new survey asks what kind of service your broadband ISP has given you this year and whether or not you’ll be swapping to a new provider in 2015? Vote Here.